title:Top Seven Reasons NOT to Put Your Self-Esteem in Someone Else’s Hands
We’ve all heard wonderful heartwarming stories of the underdog winning the day because someone else believed in them so much that they were able to overcome their own self-doubt in order to go the extra mile and succeed at some goal or dream they had been putting off. Those stories are beautiful and inspirational, however in reality they are also few and far between. I would never advocate turning a cheerleader’s love and support away, but I do think you’re foolish if you sit around waiting for someone else to encourage, uplift, and inspire you towards your greatest moments. The reasons why are as follows:
1. Most people are too self-obsessed. We often tell ourselves that if only someone would notice how gifted we are, then we would feel more confident about sharing those gifts. The fact that nobody has noticed yet does not mean that you do not have gifts, nor does it mean that the world would not benefit from you sharing them. It just means that they are not paying attention to the small less obvious details of what you are capable of offering.
2. Most people are not properly trained in mental health issues. If you are suffering from extremely low self-esteem, most of the people in your immediate family and social circles will not be equipped with the proper know-how needed to get you to see what gifts you do have to offer. Sometimes it takes more than a good friend or a self-help book to get you past whatever traumas and dramas that caused you to lose your self-confidence in the first place.
3. Misery loves company. Most of the time, you will find that if you try to talk to someone about your low self-worth, they will simply commiserate with you rather than get you to turn your opinion of yourself around. The next thing you know, you are both crying in your beer together about what losers you’ve turned out to be. Once in awhile, both people will agree to cheer each other on to higher levels of accomplishment, but not usually.
4. Envy can cause people to try to hold others back. We all know that those green eyes of jealousy turn up whether we like it or not. There are plenty of insecure and less talented people who would rather not see you succeed because then their own failures become all too obvious to them. As long as you are just some random nobody, then they can feel better about being a random nobody too.
5. Control and domination is another factor that keeps people from encouraging us. Many dysfunctional families will sabotage each other in order to make sure that nobody breaks free from the chains of hell that the family has agreed to. The more abusive the family dynamic the more likely they are to do whatever it takes to stop you from even recognizing your talents. Unless you are going to get rich from your talent and they are going to use you for your money, they often will not encourage you whatsoever. If anything, they will hammer you with more negativity than the situation warrants until they convince you to give up altogether.
6. Assumed biases are often used to discount our cheerleaders’ belief in us. How many mothers have told their teenagers that they were extremely talented only to have their encourage ignored because it’s assumed that the mother is simply prejudiced and that her opinion doesn’t really count? This is a common event among close friends and family. We simply assume that they are just saying nice things because they love us and that they really don’t mean it or they are not qualified to make a proper assessment of our level of talent.
7. Passion is not as transferable as we would like it to be. You can have an entire auditorium full of people clapping, cheering, and stomping in excitement because they believe that you are capable of putting on a great show to entertain them, but that does not necessarily mean that their passion for your music is going to register within your heart and soul. You may simply feel that you are being pressured into something you are not ready for. Somewhere deep down inside of you there has to be the belief that yes you can do this otherwise all of the cheerleaders in the world are not going to change the situation.
The truth is that as wonderful as our cheerleaders are, they cannot give us self-esteem. It is called self-esteem, not other-esteem, spouse-esteem, parental-esteem, or friend-esteem. Nobody can hand it to you or tell you where to find it. You have to build it, earn it, create it, and nurture it from somewhere inside of yourself. A teacher handing a blue ribbon to a child just for showing up is not going to give that child real self-esteem and the same goes for adults. Regardless of your age, gender, educational background or whatever, you will have to start with baby steps and work your way up the esteem ladder. With each little accomplishment, you add another layer of can-do-attitude. Cheerleaders are a blessing but they are not the real source of self-esteem.
If you know deep down in your soul that you have a hidden undeveloped talent calling at your heart, then it’s up to you to bring that gift to the surface. You are the one who will have to study, practice, and hone your craft. You are the one who will have to face competitors, naysayers, and critics. You are the one who has to climb and fight your way to the top of your industry. You are the one who is making a name for yourself. It’s your gift, not theirs. It’s your self-esteem, not theirs. Don’t give your personal power away and don’t expect others to simply hand it to you either.
Copyright 2006, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge